Might golf course homes scheme now resurface?

Photo of the entrance to Woodlands Golf & Country Club, from Trench Lane.

A development company’s promotion of Woodlands Golf Course as a potential site for up to 2,000 new homes could be given renewed impetus following the news that a strategic housing plan has effectively been thrown out by government inspectors.

South West Strategic Developments Ltd (SWSD) put forward the Trench Lane site as a candidate for large-scale housing development when the first draft of the West of England’s Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) was being formulated in 2015. It failed to make the final version of the document, but SWSD contested the rationale behind that decision and continued to push for the site to be included after the JSP entered its ‘examination in public’ stage.

SWSD also submitted a second proposal, for a smaller development of 500 homes at Woodlands. This alternative plan would see one of the two golf courses retained. However, it was emphasised that this was being put forward “without prejudice” to its efforts to have the larger scheme included.

Local Conservative councillors John Ashe and Roger Avenin have voiced strong opposition to the Woodlands proposals, claiming that the development, if allowed to go ahead, would cause considerable problems for residents and businesses in Bradley Stoke. They also promoted a petition against the proposals in the run up to the local elections in May.

With the JSP inspectors now questioning the rationale used by the four West of England councils in selecting the final list of strategic development locations for inclusion in the plan, it looks likely that previously rejected sites will have to be re-evaluated.

On being approached by the Journal for comment, a spokesperson for SWSD said:

“We are aware of the government planning inspectors’ findings relating to the JSP and await the response from the four West of England councils.”

“SWSD has been promoting the Woodlands Golf Club site as an opportunity to deliver a highly accessible and sustainable development, close to thousands of jobs, everyday facilities and Bristol city centre.”

“Given the JSP findings, the Woodlands Golf Club site is one of many sites which is likely to be reconsidered as an opportunity for new housing development within South Gloucestershire.”

“Whilst it is for the West of England councils to consider the way ahead, SWSD would like to assure the community that any future proposals for Woodlands Golf Club would be positively planned through engagement with local residents and councils to provide a wide range of facilities, infrastructure and road improvements.”

For further information, visit the Woodlands Garden Village information page on the Bradley Stoke Journal website.

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 25). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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